Leopold_I.jpg
Leopold I, http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/sub_imglist.cfm?sub_id=248&section_id=8
Leopold I, the Holy Roman Emperor from 1658 to 1705 and Louis XIV's cousin and brother-in-law, attempted to follow Louis’s example and create an absolutions government.[1] He was unable to do this because of the diverse nationalities of his subjects. He had, however, gained a small amount from the previous Holy Roman Emperor, ruling over only Bohemia, Austria, and some of Hungary. But he planned on building a new palace, Schonbrunn, which he hoped would outdo Versailles. As it was, he didn’t have the needed finance to build it, but he did build part of it. In the process he turned Vienna into a city for nobles and small traders alike.

Leopold was neither as bravado or ever as powerful as Louis. He was
Prince_Eugene.jpg
Prince Eugene, www.wikipedia.org
refined and religious and did create the renowned music culture that persisted throughout Vienna’s history. The Thirty Year’s War had established the German princes as in control of the state and not the Holy Roman Emperor, however in his other domains, with the cooperation of the nobility in the Privy Council which ran the government; the Holy Roman Emperor maintained power. However, because he consulted all his ministers’ decisions were made incredibly slowly.

Leopold was willing to use foreigners in officials positions if he believed they would do a better job than a man in his own realm. Prince Eugène, the duke of Lorraine and the most brilliant soldier of his age, was one such man. Though he was a French subject, he had been unable to suede Louis XIV to give him a military commission, he went to the Holy Roman Emperor. He fought with Austria against the Turks as they continued to battle, and win territory, in the area. He became a field marshal by thirty and for forty more years he fought fairly successfully.

Up until 1683, before the siege of Vienna, Leopold had simply been holding the frontier. But now he decided to push forward at Eugène’s urging. They pushed all the way up to the Danube River, creating Austria-Hungary. Eugène helped make the coalition, the Grand Alliance, that defeated Louis XIV in the 1700s, in Italy managed to increase his domain so he could reach the sea, and began pushing the Turks from the Balkans. By Eugène’s death the Austrians were a hundred miles from the Black Sea.

Works Referenced

Chambers, Mortimer; Grew, Raymond; Herlihy, David; Rabb, Theodore K.; Woloch, Isser. The Western Experience: Sixth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1991

1 All information from the above named source, pages 539, 543-4